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Elmer D. Mitchell, Editor 

Copyright, 1 95 1 , by Prentice-Hall, Inc. 
70 Fifth AVENUE, New York 




To Leo Ryan and Joey Thomas, my first boxing trainers 
in Minneapolis; to George Barton, a great boxing writer 
and one of the grand men of sports who taught me the 
values of boxing; to Vem Woodward, my valued boxing 
associate; to all the superb boxing athletes against whom 
I have participated; to the fine young men I have coached 
at St. Thomas college, at the University of Wisconsin, 
on the 1948 United States Olympic team, and in the 
Marine Corps. 

To the many thousands of loyal, enthusiastic collegiate 
boxing fans of Wisconsin, and to our sportswriters who 
all shared in and made possible a successful boxing pro- 
gram at the University of Wisconsin. This book is 
dedicated to each of you for your all-important assistance. 
It is my sincere hope that this book will help make it 
possible for other coaches and boxers to enjoy the great 
sport of boxing and to benefit from it as fully and richly 
as I have. 


The Author 

It was March 21, 1933, and the University of Wisconsin 
was engaging in its first intercollegiate boxing match. Its 
opponent was St. Thomas of St. Paul, and the coach of the 
St. Thomas team was a spindly kid with the face of a choir 
boy, who was a student there. 

The spindly kid who was handling St. Thomas was 
John J. Walsh, and the way he handled that team con- 
vinced the late George Downer that he was just the man 
Wisconsin needed. 

Downer, a former Milwaukee sports editor who had 
taken over as director of athletic publicity at Wisconsin, 
had a deep interest in boxing, and he had much to do 
with promoting the sport. 

Walsh came to Wisconsin as head boxing coach in 1934, 
and some of the boys he coached were older than he was. 
But Walsh was one of those natural teachers, a genial, 
friendly fellow who still could command the respect of 
his pupils. Not only could he command their respect, he 
had the knack of keeping them interested, and he had 
the ability to impart his knowledge to them. 

The result has been a happy one for Walsh and for the 
University of Wisconsin. He received his law degree 
from the university and is a successful and respected 
practicing attorney. Furthermore, he is the most successful 
boxing coach in college history. 



Successful? Take a look at a few of his accomplishments: 

There have been 13 National Collegiate Athletic Associ- 
ation (N. C. A. A.) tournaments, and Wisconsin has won 
the team championship in five of the 10 meets it entered. 

Wisconsin has won 24 individual championships, eight 
more than the next closest school. 

Walsh's 1943 team won five of the eight N. C. A. A. 
individual championships in 1943 and won four out of 
eight in 1939 and 1942; no other school has ever won 
more than three in any one tournament. 

Of the 17 teams he has coached at Wisconsin — he was 
with the Marine Corps in the Pacific Theater for a time 
in World War II — nine have gone through a dual meet 
season undefeated and untied, and three others had records 
marred only by a tie. 

His 1938-39-40 teams ran up a string of 18 straight vic- 
tories; following a defeat in 1940, Walsh's Badger teams 
of 1940-41-42-43-44 ran up a string of 24 straight triumphs. 
That was bettered when his 1946-47-48-49 teams chalked 
up 26 straight victories. 

Bespeaking the popularity of Walsh’s Wisconsin boxing 
teams is the fact that they have drawn as high as 70,200 
for five matches at home, that Wisconsin has broken all 
attendance records upon the four occasions that it has 
been host to the N. C. A. A. tournament, the all-time mark 
of 59,800 being set in 1948. 

He was co-coach of the 1948 United States Olympic 
boxing team. He has been identified with many of the 
safety factors that have been introduced into intercollegiate 



That's a capsule history of the fellow who first saw the 
University of Wisconsin as the undergraduate coach of 
a team that met the Badgers in their first intercollegiate 

The association of Wisconsin and Walsh has been 
mutually happy. 

Henry J. McCormick, 

State Journal Sports Editor. 


Devoted as I am to popularizing amateur boxing and 
to improving the caliber of this particularly desirable 
competitive sport, I am highly enthusiastic over John 
Walsh's boxing instruction book. 

No one in the United States today can equal John's 
record as an amateur boxer and a coach. He is highly 
regarded as a sportsman. Before turning to coaching and 
the practice of law John was one of the most successful 
college and Golden Gloves boxers the sport has ever 

The soundness of his instruction is impressively at- 
tested to by the feats of his University of Wisconsin boxing 
team in going nine years without loss to a collegiate rival in 
a dual meet. 

In this book John sets forth clearly and concisely the 
principles of successful boxing just as he has imparted 
them for years to boxing classes, members of his fabulously 
successful Wisconsin team, and United States Olympic 
Team boxers whom he has coached. These pages are 
commendably free of unproven theory. Everything ex- 
pounded by John is based on long-proven fact. 

This book will prove a tremendous aid to boxers and 
coaches alike. I am particularly enthusiastic about the 
manner in which John dispels quaint and absurd miscon- 
ceptions about amateur boxing. This book is not only 


a masterful teaching instrument, but also a convincing 
selling medium for the sport. 

Athletic directors in schools, military establishments, 
clubs, churches, and communities would do well to study 
the pages that follow. No one doing so could deny boxing 
its rightful place in any well-rounded athletic or physical 
education program. 

Arch Ward 

Sports Editor 

The Chicago Tribune 



1 Introduction 1 

2 Equipment 5 

3 Necessary Precautions 9 

4 Early Conditioning 12 

5 Proper Workouts 14 

6 Preparation, Care, and Use of the Hands 18 

7 Fundamentals of Boxing 22 

8 Practice Routines and Suggestions 30 

9 The Left Hook 38 

10 Punch Variations 45 

11 Scouting Future Opponents 49 

12 Boxing Tips 51 

13 Father-Son Instruction 58 

14 Boxing as a Summer Community Recreation Project 64 

APPENDIX: The Wisconsin Report 83 






The following chapters deal with organized and 
supervised boxing as conducted today in colleges, high 
schools, and recreational centers. They are in no way 
concerned with professional fighting, with which amateur 
boxing should at no time be confused. 

Professional fighting is a business conducted for mone- 
tary gain. Amateur boxing is a competitive sport or recrea- 
tion. These distinctions should be kept in mind at all 

We are directing our instructions, advice, and sugges- 
tions to the coach supervising boxers individually or in 
groups; to the boy who, motivated by a desire for com- 
petitive or recreational activity, wishes to learn the fun- 
damentals of boxing; and also to the father who acquiesces 
to the urge to teach his son the art of boxing. 

We intend to be very fundamental in our approach, and 
thus to enable even an inexperienced coach to put across 
readily an effective instructional program to his boys. We 
want to make it possible for the boy to whom personal 
supervision is unavailable to teach himself. We also hope 
to save the father lacking in boxing experience the igno- 
miny of receiving a "shiner" as he attempts on bended 
knees to impart to his son the principles of the "manly art." 



We believe that too often the fundamentals of boxing 
are overlooked in favor of complicated punches, series of 
maneuvers, and fancy footwork. Just as fundamentals 
such as tackling and blocking pay off in football, so it is 
the properly executed left jab, straight right, and an occa- 
sional left hook that bring victory in the boxing ring. 

Experience has proven that the methods of teaching 
and learning boxing employed throughout this book are 
just as adaptable to youngsters as they are to boys of high 
school and college age. We have found through years of 
work with "kid" classes that lads of seven to twelve years 
are often more adaptable to these methods than their older 
brothers who may have acquired erroneous ways which 
must be righted. 

My personal enthusiasm for amateur boxing stems from 
my experience with the hundreds of fine young men with 
whom I have worked as a boxer, as coach at the University 
of Wisconsin, while in service with the Marines, and as a 
coach of the United States Olympic team. They have been 
the sons of poor men and rich men; they have come from 
the big cities and from the farm; they have ranged in 
weight from 90 pounds to 250 pounds; some have been 
timid, others bold; many had never boxed before. They 
have in no way been "typed." And when our active asso- 
ciation as student and teacher ended each boy without 
exception was the richer for his experiences. Not a single 
boy has borne a mark that might not just as well have 
been inflicted in a sliding accident, in a friendly scuffle, 
in an accidental fall, in a football game, or in a basketball 
contest. And the poise, coordination, confidence, physical 
conditioning, and competitive experiences gained were 



apparent without exception. Many of these boys have 
since become lawyers, doctors, teachers, or businessmen. 

One of our own Wisconsin boys — Woody Swancutt, 
who was a two-time national collegiate champion — distin- 
guished himself as a B-29 pilot over Japan and was later 
selected in competition with thousands of others seeking 
the honor to pilot the plane dropping the first test atom 
bomb at Bikini. Woody's foremost rival in college — Hes- 
ton Daniels of Louisiana State University — flew one of the 
United States Army planes participating in General Doo- 
little's first raid over Tokyo. Here again the pilots were 
carefully selected from among the finest physical and men- 
tal specimens in the United States Army Air Force. The 
famed and great Jimmie Doolittle himself first gained 
prominence as an amateur boxing champion. 

A Captain of Navy Air personnel who was in a large 
measure responsible for the selection of candidates for 
Naval Aviation placed boxing number one on the list 
of sports that best qualify a boy to be a pilot. He attributed 
this to the splendid coordination; to the lightning-fast 
timing and sharp reflexes; to the superb physical condi- 
tion; and to the "will to win," or competitive spirit, devel- 
oped in a well-supervised boxing program. 

Amateur boxing today is receiving its most significant 
endorsement from the many great educational institutions 
who sponsor the sport at the intercollegiate competitive 
level. Among them are the United States Military Acad- 
emy, the University of California, Stanford University, 
the University of California at Los Angeles, the University 
of Santa Clara, Washington State College, Idaho Univer- 
sity, the University of Minnesota, the University of Wis- 



consin, Syracuse University, Penn State College, Michigan 
State College, the University of Virginia, Louisiana State 
University, the University of North Carolina, the Uni- 
versity of South Carolina, and Miami University of Florida. 
Among notably successful smaller colleges are San Jose 
State and Gonzaga University whose boxing teams con- 
sistently rank high nationally. 

Colleges and universities that do not conduct boxing 
activities at least at the intramural level are in the very 
definite minority. 

The sport is very successfully conducted at the public 
high school level in Virginia, Louisiana, Washington, and 




Proper equipment is a "must" in any boxing program. 
A capable, qualified coach would not send a boy on the 
football field without proper shoulder pads or headgear. 
Yet, I have seen high school boxers use worn-out gloves 
and a makeshift mat with no canvas cover; and I have 
known of boys who have not been provided with alumi- 
num cups. This is absolute false economy, and should not 
be tolerated. 

Proper mouthpieces, well-padded headgears, and hand- 
wraps should be available for all contestants in a boxing 
program. It is advisable to have high-topped boxing 
shoes, but where economy is a factor, light-weight basket- 
ball shoes will suffice. 

All equipment should be properly maintained, both 
for the safety of the boy and for reasons of economy. 

In comparison with most other sports, boxing is inex- 
pensive to conduct, and can be very profitable financially. 
After the initial outlay for the ring, punching bag, and 
gloves, additional purchases are minor in nature. Upkeep 
is incidental. Many high schools in the states of Louisiana, 
Washington, Virginia, and Wisconsin are now showing a 
larger profit from boxing than from any other sport. In 



numerous colleges boxing receipts are second only to those 
derived from football. We do not wish to convey the 
impression that we suggest boxing only because of the 
profit motive. But we do wish to show that the sport 
needn't be conducted at a financial loss to the school. 

We strongly urge that the rules and regulations regard- 
ing equipment as laid down in the N.C.A.A. Boxing Guide 
by the National Collegiate Athletic Association boxing 
committee for colleges be carefully studied and followed. 
These recommendations have been drawn up with the 
welfare of the boxer in mind. All contestants as well as 
coaches should familiarize themselves with the contents. 
Under these rules a ring is required on which the padding 
extends over the edge for added protection. All turn- 
buckles must be padded and the ropes wrapped with flan- 
nel or gauze. The mat should be at least two inches thick, 
with a tight canvas cover on top. All bouts and meets must 
be fought in a regulation ring. Remember, accidents are 
caused only by laxity and carelessness. 

Hand bandages should be worn at all times by con- 
testants in both practice sessions and actual bouts. The 
details of bandaging will be covered in a later chapter. 

Regular gauze of two-inch width is recommended for 
actual bouts, but regular ankle-wrapping or similar mate- 
rial is satisfactory for practice sessions. 

Rubber mouthpieces are another essential for all boxers. 
They are inexpensive. You will find the investment a wise 
one. It is certainly much cheaper than the dental work 
which may be required when no mouthpiece is used. The 
mouthpiece will eliminate practically all teeth injuries and 
mouth lacerations which are caused by the lip coming in 



contact with an irregular tooth. Many boxers find it advis- 
able to secure a mouthpiece made from an actual impres- 
sion. This is desirable even though expensive. 

In the purchase of boxing gloves be sure to avoid false 
economy. A good glove should be purchased initially. 
The end result will actually be less expensive. A cheap 
glove bunches up and does not give the proper protec- 
tion to the boy who is hit. Do not work the padding in a 
glove. This breaks up the padding and makes it lumpy. 
Grease the leather with vaseline at least twice a week. 
Boxing gloves should always be hung up to dry after being 
used. Make sure they never touch the floor. The grease 
on the leather will pick up dirt. This, when rubbed 
against the skin, may cause infection. Also because of 
possible infection, the ring ropes should be kept clean 
and well-padded. For high schools a 12-ounce glove should 
be used up through the 132-pound class, and a 14-ounce 
glove at all weights above. For training purposs 16-ounce 
and 18-ounce gloves should be used. A glove especially 
designed for high schools and colleges is on the market. In 
it more padding has been placed over the hitting surface. 
A web extends between the thumb and the forefinger. Use 
of this new glove has practically eliminated face or eye 
cuts, and has greatly reduced the frequency of knockouts. 
Do not use gloves designated for actual competition for 
practice sessions. Only comparatively new gloves should 
be used for actual bouts. 

Use a regulation ring during all practice sessions. Punch- 
ing bag stands for the light bag, and a few training bags 
for heavy punching should also be available. Jumping- 
ropes are standard equipment in any boxing gymnasium. 



Once you have obtained the proper equipment as listed 
above your instructional job can get under way. This 
involves thorough physical conditioning, plus stress on 
the fundamentals of boxing. 

The rules make a headgear compulsory for all actual 
matches. This headgear is specially designed and is tenned 
a "competitive headgear." It is lighter in weight than 
the headgear used in training, but affords the same amount 
of protection to the eyes and ears. It also includes extra 
padding at the base of the skull as protection for a boxer 
on the rare occasions when his head hits the canvas as he 
falls. It has been definitely ascertained that many injuries 
incurred in the professional field have not resulted from 
a blow, but rather from falling to an improperly-padded 
ring floor. The competitive headgear with its ample 
padding is another precaution to avoid possible injuries 
of this nature. 



Necessary Precautions 

In boxing, as in any other contact sport, close super- 
vision is imperative to avoid unnecessary accidents. 

In virtually every high school and college or university 
in the United States a boy intending to compete in basket- 
ball or football must have a certificate of physical fitness. 
The same precaution must be taken for a boy who wishes 
to box. 

Make-shift facilities are to be carefully avoided. A well- 
padded ring enclosed properly by ropes is an absolute 
essential. Never permit boys to box where there is a 
chance of falling to a hard floor or against objects which 
might injure them. Follow closely the specifications set 
forth in the N.C.A.A. rule book, which you should obtain 
and read in detail. 

Worn-out or broken-down boxing gloves should never 
be used, both for the protection of the hands and avoid- 
ance of unnecessary bruising. 

Every coach should insist that his boys wear headgears, 
mouthpieces, and protective cups at each boxing workout. 
Permit no exceptions. If a mouthpiece slips out, or a 
headgear becomes improperly adjusted, time should be 



called to replace the mouthpiece or to properly adjust the 
headgear. To overlook these details is to be remiss in your 
duty as a coach or supervisor. 

No boy should ever be allowed to box even a single 
round without properly bandaged hands. A bruised 
thumb could readily handicap him for an entire season, 
and permanent injury might also result. 

We firmly adhere to a rule providing that no candidate 
for our team may actually box except in the presence of 
and under the supervision of one of the coaches. Only 
by this method can the coach make sure that boys of equal 
ability, experience, and physical proportions are matched 
against one another. It is a grave mistake to permit boys 
to pair off indiscriminately as boxing partners. 

All rule books, whether for amateur boxing or profes- 
sional fighting, provide that a doctor be in attendance at 
ringside. We don't want to convey the impression that 
this is necessary because of any dangers inherent in boxing. 
It is a precautionary measure that is also taken in all prop- 
erly supervised contact sports contests. Virtually every high 
school or college conducting a competitive sports program 
has an M.D. who is designated as the "team physician." 
Call on this man to examine carefully each boxing team 
candidate before he actively engages in the sport; have 
him observe the boy at any time you have reason to sus- 
pect any injury or illness; and require that each boy 
undergo examination the day of a match. This is an added 
precaution which eliminates the possibility of a boy who 
is sub-par because of illness exposing himself unnecessarily 
to possible injury. 



The National Collegiate Athletic Association Boxing 
Guide has been carefully and thoroughly prepared. If you 
will conscientiously digest and follow all rules and provi- 
sions contained therein, you will be fulfilling your duty 
as a coach. 


Early Conditioning 

All boxing team candidates answering the coach's 
first call should be expected to report in good enough 
condition so that they can go at top speed in workouts. 

Early conditioning ideally consists of road work at least 
three times weekly for one month prior to the first squad 
drills. The candidate should be informed that the heavy 
roadwork is done before the season begins, and for a time 
immediately thereafter. Only infrequent roadwork sessions 
are necessary once the boxers have attained the proper 
physical condition. This means actually that during the 
regular competitive season the boys do not have to devote 
as much time to conditioning routines as they did before- 
hand. They become increasingly engrossed in the details 
that fit into the mechanics and strategy of the game. Dur- 
ing this process boxing becomes more a fascinating recrea- 
tion, and less a dull routine. 

Road Work 

There are many theories on how to do road work. Some 
advocate the long tedious grinds of three to five miles. 
I have always contended, and followed the theory, that the 
long grinds possibly are necessary preparation only for the 



10 to 15 rounds of professional fighting. For the high 
school or college boy, or any other amateur who will box 
three one-minute or two-minute rounds, running short 
distances, with wind sprints, will better prepare him for 
his type of contest. During the month previous to the 
regular practice sessions he may increase his stamina and 
physical condition by jogging, preferably outdoors, for 
approximately one minute and 45 seconds, and then sprint- 
ing at top speed for 15 seconds. He should walk the next 
minute, thereby catching his wind, and repeat the per- 
formance. He should go through this routine about six 
times the first day of road work; then increase to 10 or 
12 times when his condition warrants it. At the end of 
the first month of such road work, if he is a high school 
boxer and boxing only one-minute rounds, he should 
change to jogging 45 seconds, next sprinting at top speed 
for 15 seconds, then walking a minute, and repeat. My 
theory and reasoning are that a boy should do his road 
work in accordance with the length of the rounds he boxes, 
and in the manner in which he boxes. In an average 
round, a boy is sparring around for an opening (this cor- 
responds to the jogging) ; the opening is found and the 
gloves are thrown fast and furious for 10 or 15 seconds 
(this corresponds to the sprints). Some boys find it more 
to their liking to measure their distances in blocks rather 
than by time. They will jog a third of a block, sprint a 
third of a block, then walk the last third, repeating this 
each block. I have found both methods successful and 
can promise that boys following either of them will be 
fit to go three fast rounds. 



Proper Workouts 

Just what constitutes "proper workouts" is one of 
boxing's most controversial topics. I refer now to work- 
outs just before the regular season and during the actual 
season, after the boys have become physically conditioned 
by plenty of early road work, and have drilled upon and 
thoroughly mastered the fundamentals. 

Many of my college coaching friends believe in long 
workouts of 10 to 12 three-minute rounds each day, even 
though college-boxing rounds are two minutes. Under 
the same theory, they believe in working high school boys 
rounds of two minutes each, even though training for 
bouts of one-minute rounds. Their argument is that, if 
a boy can go the longer distance, he will be much better 
over the shorter distance during the actual contests, and 
that psychologically he will feel better. 

It has always been my contention that a boy in training 
should box rounds the exact length of those he will box 
competitively — workouts of two-minute rounds for college 
boys, and one minute for high school boys. My theory is 
that if a boy trains via longer rounds he develops a dif- 
ferent pacing; he slows down the action; and during a 
regular bout he does not know how to time himself prop- 



erly. He will not go "all out" as is necessary in one- and 
two-minute rounds. We have found it best for condition- 
ing purposes if the boy moves fast and is on the go during 
the entire shorter round. 

A typical workout, once the boy is in good physical 
condition and his legs are in shape, would be the following: 

First Round — Shadow boxing. Loosening up. Warming 
the muscles. Trying all the punches. 

Second, Third, and Fourth Rounds — Boxing, working 
hard and fast during the rounds. Complete relaxation 
between rounds. 

Fifth Round — Shadow boxing. Catching the wind, and 
getting the heart back to normal rhythm and beat. Figur- 
ing out which punches worked best; which ones did not 
work; and the reasons for their failure. 

Sixth Round — Punching the light punching bag. Excel- 
lent for sharpening the eyes, learning to keep the hands 
high, and becoming adept at punching fast. 

Seventh Round — More punching on the light punching 
bag, or on the heavy sand bag. 

Finish up with light body exercise and dash right into 
the showers. 

It may be seen from the preceding that I am an advo- 
cate of a short, fast workout instead of a long, dragged-out 
one. I have always believed that a boy gets into better 
condition for a short three-round bout by short, snappy 
workouts of six to seven rounds. The boys, furthermore, 
enjoy the shorter workouts and will work harder than if 
the workouts are prolonged and become monotonous. 
There must be no loafing from bell to bell. Maintain top 
speed all the way. 



Pre-Bout Preparation 

The preceding workout schedule is recommended for 
the heavy training prior to a bout. If preparatory to 
matches on a Friday night, the workouts as listed would 
be followed on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. The 
workout on Thursday, assuming it to be the day before 
the bout, would consist of the following: 

First Round — shadow-boxing and loosening up. 

Second Round — striking the light punching bag. 

Third Round — punching the heavy sand bag. 

Fourth Round — finishing up with light, loose body 
exercises. Then immediately take a shower. 

The purpose behind such a light workout the day prior 
to a match is to have the boxer conserve all his energy 
for the forthcoming bout. 

Friday's preparation would be as follows: Light break- 
fast, extent of which depends on the weight problem. 
Weighing in (time designated under the rules is usually 
at least six hours before the match begins). Immediately 
after the weigh-in period the boxer eats his full meal. It 
is important that the meal be eaten approximately six 
hours before the bouts in order to allow sufficient time 
for the food to digest properly. All athletes are normally 
excited on the day of a contest, hence their food requires 
longer to digest. A typical pre-bout meal would be as 
follows: fruit juice, head lettuce salad (French dressing 
optional), a good-sized tenderloin or T-bone steak, broiled 
or grilled medium rare or medium, according to indi- 
vidual taste (it should never be well done), buttered toast 
including honey if desired, and a fresh fruit cup dessert. 



Tea is preferable, but a single cup of coffee is permissible 
if the individual does not like tea. 

Our boys take a walk of approximately 20 minutes im- 
mediately after the meal; then go to their rooms to rest 
until the time comes to leave for the matches. 

Most boys can sleep, but those who cannot should at 
least lie in bed and read. Some boys prefer a movie during 
the interim to take their minds off the bout ahead, but 
bed rest is advisable. 

The boys, upon arriving at the dressing room the eve- 
ning of the bouts, should be made to relax as much as 
possible right up to the time for their individual bouts. 
It is a good practice while taping the boy's hands to quickly 
review with him the style of the boxer he is meeting, and to 
emphasize the strong and weak points of both your boxer 
and his opponent. Excepting this last-minute advice, the 
boy will gain more by complete relaxation than by think- 
ing about the forthcoming match. 

Once these preparations have been made, it is up to the 
boy to do his best. It is the coach's duty to advise him 
properly as his second during the one-minute rest period 
between rounds. 


Preparation, Care, and 
Use of the Hands 


left halfback with a bad ankle. 


Let me stress here that a boy without bandages on his 
hands should never box or hit a bag. 

The following procedure for bandaging is proper: Place 
hand outstretched with the back of the hand facing up, 
and fingers spread apart at least half an inch. This is very 
important to assure that the bandage will not be too tight 
when the fist is closed. A loop made in one end of the 
bandage should be slipped over the thumb. Start the 
bandage high on the wrist and wrap it fairly tight, to 
minimize bending of the wrist when the boxer strikes. 
(See Illustration 1.) Wrap the bandages over the back 
of the bones (metacarpals) between the knuckles and the 
wrist almost down to the first joint of the fingers. Make 
at least three loops over the thumb to fully protect the 
big joint of the thumb (Illustrations 2 and 3). 

The boxer should open and close his fist three or four 



times during the wrapping so that the bandages will be 
neither too tight nor too loose (Illustration 3). 

Let me emphasize the importance of taking proper 
care of the wrists, bones of the hands, and the thumbs. 
Most important is proper bandaging of the backs of the 
hands, rather than the knuckles. Many people mistakenly 
consider the latter proper and adequate protection. 

In preparation for a regular match use surgical gauze for 
bandages, as shown in the illustrations. Up to 10 yards 
is necessary, depending upon the size of the boy's hands. 
For training sessions, ankle wraps cut in five-yard lengths, 
elastic bandages, or even carpet binding, are satisfactory. 
A hole in one end to slip over the thumb, and a split at 
the other end for tying purposes will do the trick. The 
boys should straighten out their bandages after each ses- 
sion and hang them up in their lockers to dry. 

The Correct Position of the Hand When Hitting 

Proper hand-bandaging minimizes hand injuries, but 
the coach must still teach his boys how to hit properly to 
further avoid all possible injuries. Once a boxer learns to 
hit properly, he is rarely troubled by hand injuries. When 
starting either a left jab or a right cross, point the four 
knuckles of both hands outward, and the thumb knuckle 
upward (Illustration 4). When the left jab or right cross 
lands, the finger knuckles should be pointing upward, 
and the thumb knuckle inward (Illustration 5) . This is a 
very important point and cannot be stressed too strongly. 

At the start of a left hook, the finger knuckles are point- 
ing outward, and the thumb knuckle upward, as shown in 
Illustration 4. When the left hook lands, the knuckles are 



turned inward to the right, but the thumb knuckle must 
remain pointing upward. In other words, with both the 
left jab and right cross there is a sort of corkscrew twist 
from start to finish. (Illustrations 4-5.) This is not true 
with the hook. In the execution of a hook, the thumb 
knuckle starts and finishes pointing upward (Illustration 
6). In this connection, note Illustration 7 (the wrong 
way to land a left hook). 

I always insist that boxers I am coaching keep their fists 
closed from bell to bell. No high school, college, or ama- 
teur boxer has enough experience to keep his gloves half 
open until the moment of contact. A boy trying this will, 
at some time or other, miss on his timing and a hand injury 
may result. He should at all times make an "even fist," 
meaning all knuckles should be even across (no knuckle 
protruding) when the first is closed (note Illustration 4). 
When the fist lands, see to it that all four knuckles make 
contact at the same time, both for the sake of safety and 
for maximum striking power (see Illustration 5). 

Another rule, an important one for proper hitting, is: 
never bend the wrist when hitting. Many boys make this 
mistake, particularly when throwing a hook. Make this 
a hard and fast rule: keep the forearm rigid from the 
knuckles of the closed fist up to the elbow. If your boys 
remember this rule they will have better hitting power 
and no sprained wrists (note Illustration 8). 

I deem it all-important to bring a boy along step-by-step. 
Each step is contingent upon the previous one. If a boy 
is not in condition he will likely lose to an inferior boxer 
who has been properly conditioned. Hence the stress on 
road work. Your boxer may have a "Mike Gibbons" left 



hand, and a "Joe Louis" right, but ignorance of how to 
wrap his hands properly or hit correctly may nullify this 
punching ability. I again stress the fact that boxing is 
not a difficult sport to master. The basic fundamentals, 
when well executed, are sufficient to assure frequent 



Fundamentals of Boxing 

The On-Guard Position 

I wish to stress in detail the all-important stance, 
or what we will call the "on-guard" position. When a 
boxer slides out from his corner at the sound of the bell, 
a trained eye can immediately ascertain the degree of his 
ability by the on-guard position he assumes. The boxer 
trained correctly will advance to the center of the ring 
and fall instinctively into a proper on-guard position, if 
his coach has stressed each fundamental that goes to make 
up that vital stance. 

All punches are thrown from the on-guard position. The 
boxer must assume the on-guard position again at the finish 
of each punch with all possible rapidity. This procedure 
is necessary for proper deception. Thus the stance must 
be mastered at the beginning. With all punches starting 
from the same stance, naturally an opponent has difficulty 
guessing whether the punch will be a left jab to the head 
or body, a left hook to the head or body, a double left 
hook to the body and head, or a jab followed by a hook. 
If the boxer changes his stance or ann positions each time 
he throws a different punch, his opponent will soon catch 
on and meet him with a counter. 



Illustrations 9 through 18 minutely follow the "musts" 
necessary to a proper on-guard position. 

In Illustration 9, note that the hands are down; the fists 
properly closed; and the feet parallel to each other. 

Illustration 10: The boxer should slide the left foot for- 
ward to a position that is comfortable to him. Some boxers 
prefer to keep their feet closer together than others, hence 
no set number of inches should be stipulated. The spacing 
is determined by the size of the boy, and by what he finds 
most comfortable. Two points, however, must be stressed. 
If the boy's feet are too close together (Illustration 11), 
or if the right foot is placed directly or almost directly 
in a line back of the left foot, he can be tipped off balance 
very easily with a left jab (Illustration 12). To remedy 
this, have the boxer, after assuming his foot position, bend 
his body and swing from left to right to determine whether 
or not he has proper balance and a steady stance (Illustra- 
tion 13). Give him a light, quick push backward. If he 
falls off balance, he has not assumed a solid foot position. 

One further point should be stressed. If the boxer's feet 
are placed too far apart, he will have to stretch too great 
a distance for a right-hand shot at his opponent (Illustra- 
tion 14). 

Illustration 15: Note that the chin is down and to the 
left, and that the shoulder is up. Stress the fact that the 
chin does not go all the way down to meet the shoulder, 
nor does the shoulder come all the way up. They meet 
halfway. The shoulder is raised an inch or two, and the 
chin is dropped an inch or two. One of a coach's biggest 
jobs is to convince a boy that his chin must be kept down, 
or he may find himself on the canvas. I have had national 



champions, who, after four years of college boxing, still 
made the mistake of dropping their shoulders and putting 
their chins up. We have a "Chin-Up-and-Hands-Down" 
Club, and we choose new members after seeing the motion 
pictures of the previous week's match. We find, at times, 
that some of our best boys are making this mistake. A 
big "Tag Me" sign, presented each week to the boxer 
who holds his chin up the highest, is another good re- 
minder that the boxer must keep the chin down and 
shoulder up if he is to remain upright for the three 

Illustration 16: A boxer should bring his left fist up, 
but not so high that it obstructs his vision, nor so low 
that he enables his opponent to slip across a sharp right 
hand. The fist is shown in proper position in Illustra- 
tion 4. The finger knuckles point outward, the thumb 
knuckle upward. The elbow is bent and the fist is not 
too close to the face, since this calls for too long a stretch 
to land a jab. The fist should not be extended too far, 
because the arm tires quickly in that unnatural position. 
Some distance must be left between the fist and point of 
impact to make possible putting "sting" into the jab. The 
elbow should be kept in close to the body, affording pro- 
tection to the left side. The entire arm and shoulder must 
be loose and relaxed so that the boxer will be able to snap 
or whip out the jabs in rapier-like thrusts. 

Illustration 17: This is the complete and proper on- 
guard position, side view. The right forearm and fist are 
up. The right fist should be at about the level of the 
chin so that the boxer is in position to catch his opponent's 
left jabs. The right elbow is kept close to the body, pro- 



tecting the right side and kidneys. The forearm protects 
the solar plexus (a good place to hit, but not to be hit), 
and the fist protects the chin. 

Illustration 18: The correct on-guard position, front 
view. The left foot is forward — not too close, not too far 
away; nor is the right foot directly behind the left. The 
chin is down, the shoulder is up. The fists are clenched, 
the elbows are in, and the thumb knuckles are pointing 
upward. The right elbow is covering the right side, the 
foreann is protecting the solar plexus, and the fist is guard- 
ing the chin. 

Note also that the right shoulder is pulled backward, 
thus not giving the opponent as much body space to shoot 
at. This position also places the left ann and fist within 
closer striking range of the opponent. 

A coach should spend all the time necessary to enable 
his boys to master each fundamental of the on-guard posi- 
tion. These fundamentals must be drilled into them so 
that they will mechanically fall into this position without 
giving it a thought. The boys may gather around in a 
circle and at the command "on-guard," hop into position, 
hold it, wait for corrections of any mistakes noticed by 
the coach, then at a command, relax. This should be done 
over and over again until the position becomes second 
nature. I have experimented with boys from seven to ten 
years of age and have found that they become letter-perfect 
in all the fundamentals of the on-guard position, from all 
angles, and retain the position when boxing. It should be 
stressed that all punches start and finish from the on-guard 
position. It must, therefore, be learned correctly. 



The Left Jab 

"The most important offensive and defensive punch is 
the left jab." No truer words were ever spoken. How 
often have we seen a smart boxer with just a left jab, 
and practically no right hand, beat a tough, rugged boy 
with a devastating right by using the left jab offensively 
to pile up points and defensively to keep the puncher away, 
and off balance. Very seldom does a boxer with an edu- 
cated left hand get hit by a hard right hand. The reason 
is simple. Your left jab has to travel only a third as far as 
your opponent's right to land on the chin. Naturally, if 
both punches start together, the left lands first. Often the 
left jabber catches his opponent's right shoulder to stop 
a right hand traveling in his direction. This often is dan- 
gerous, however, unless the boy has a very speedy left jab. 

A coach may teach his boys many punches, fancy or 
otherwise, but there is no punch in any boxer’s repertoire 
that will do him more good than a left jab. Let's go to 
work on it, and be sure that we properly impress the value 
of the left jab from the very start. 

Illustration 19: The start of the left jab from the on- 
guard position (we repeat that all punches start and finish 
from the on-guard position). 

Illustration 20 shows the finish. The jab has been 
snapped across, not pushed. The fist has changed from the 
position in which the thumb knuckle is up (Illustration 4) 
to the position in which the thumb knuckle is pointing 
inward (Illustration 5). This was accomplished by twist- 
ing the arm as the blow was traveling forward. Note that, 
at the time of landing the jab, the chin is tucked down and 
the shoulder is curved around the chin as a protective 



covering. This is a natural result of twisting the arm as 
the jab is thrown. A coach should show his boys the dif- 
ference between a left jab that is just pushed across with 
the thumb knuckle up, and a proper jab that is snapped 
across by twisting the fist and turning the shoulder to 
protect the chin. 

Illustration 2 1 shows the wrong way for a boxer to bring 
his left hand back after delivering a left jab. Dropping 
the left hand after a jab is one of the surest ways I know 
of to lose a bout, yet it is among the most common mis- 
takes made by boxers, whether youngsters, high school 
boys, college men, or professionals. As stressed before, 
all punches start and finish from the on-guard position 1 
This means the left hand is brought back high and kept 
high to offset a right-hand counter (Illustrations 17 and 
18). Just as important as knowing how to deliver a left 
jab is knowing how to come back into position with the 
left hand high. 

Illustration 22: If his opponent is dropping his left hand 
after a jab, a boxer should ride back with the blow as 
demonstrated in this illustration, then come in with a 
straight right as shown in Illustration 23. We find that 
next to keeping their chins down our boys experience their 
greatest difficulty in remembering to keep their left 
hands up. 

Illustration 24: A properly-thrown jab, with the chin 
down and the shoulder up, protects the jabber from a cross- 
over, or an overhand right. If the left jab is slow the over- 
hand right is sometimes an effective counter. With the 
chin down, even if the punch lands, it is ineffective, for 
it lands high on the head. 



The Right Cross 

The punch next to the left jab in effectiveness is the 
potent right cross. This is naturally a harder blow because 
of the distance it travels, but unless thrown correctly, it 
is ineffective against a good boxer. The average boy learn- 
ing to box depends too much on the right hand, and unless 
cautioned immediately, becomes right-hand crazy. The 
question most often asked regarding the right hand is, 
"When should I throw it?" Invariably the boy who asks 
the question says he hesitates and is not sure of his right 
hand. I say forget about when or how to throw it. Anyone 
who has practiced diligently on the proper delivery of the 
right hand will instinctively whip it across at the proper 
time in a bout. A boxer must not hesitate when throwing 
the right. If he thinks he has the opening he should let 
it fly, and not be half-hearted about it. Even if the right 
misses it puts the other man on the defense. A right should 
be thrown from the on-guard position, and not tele- 

Illustration 25 shows the start of the right cross. Illus- 
tration 26 shows the finish. 

Note that the start is made from the regular on-guard 
position. The finish is accomplished by twisting the fist 
from the position in which the thumb knuckle is up, to 
that in which the thumb knuckle points inward (to the 
left). The shoulder curves over the chin for protection, 
and the chin is down. Note also that, when the right hand 
lands, the left is drawn back for the opponent’s counter, 
if any. The rule is "One hand out, one hand back." When 
the left hand is punching, the right is back, and vice-versa. 
This is done, not only for an expected counter, but also 



so the boxer will be in position to throw the second 

Illustration 27 shows the wrong way to deliver the right 
cross. Never draw the right hand back before delivery. 
For effectiveness and deception the right cross must be 
thrown from the regular on-guard position. The form of 
telegraphing shown in the illustration immediately tells 
the opponent what to expect. Never lift the right cross 
up before it is thrown. This is another common form of 

The right cross is a very effective blow if delivered in 
the manner shown in Illustrations 25 and 26. Remember: 
(1) the boxer must not hesitate when throwing it; (2) he 
must not telegraph it by drawing it back or lifting it up; 
(3) it must be snapped in, sharp and clean; (4) the left 
hand must be drawn back; (5) the chin must be down and 
the shoulder up. 



Practice Routines and 


his boxers in a circle around himself while teaching the 
phases of the important on-guard position. We find that 
such mass instruction at the outset is much more bene- 
ficial than having the boys pair off immediately with gloves 
on. The time allotted to each athlete for this exercise 
should be determined by the amount of previous training 
he has had. 

Once you have arranged your pupils around you as sug- 
gested, have each one go through the motions of each 
fundamental by following your example. Through this 
procedure you place the rank beginner on a par with the 
boxer who has had some experience. Knowing he has had 
the same instruction as those with whom he is working 
gives the beginner needed confidence when he puts on 
the gloves and gets into contact work. 

Employ this method while teaching the on-guard posi- 
tion, left jab, right cross, left and right to the body, and 
the left hook. 

After this practice procedure in which they punch at the 
air with bare hands, have the boys put on gloves, pair off, 



and go through the routine with one boy punching, the 
other blocking. The methods will be illustrated later. 

After the boys master the technique and necessary fun- 
damentals of the left jab and right cross, the natural fol- 
low-up is the one-two punch. It is merely the left jab 
followed immediately by the right cross, or Number One 
followed by Number Two in rapid succession. 

We now assume that the boxers have familiarized them- 
selves with all the various punches through the mass 
instructions and are paired off and getting the actual con- 
tact instruction. Boys pairing off against one another 
should be about the same size and have the same arm 
lengths. A southpaw and right hander should not work 

Practicing the Left Jab 

Both boys are in the regular on-guard position (Illus- 
tration 28). Stress here again that all punches start from 
and finish in the all-important on-guard position. Chang- 
ing positions with the start of a new punch spoils decep- 
tion. When punches begin from on-guard position the 
opponent does not know whether a left, a right, a jab, or 
a hook is coming. 

In Illustration 29 both boys are simultaneously throwing 
left jabs to the jaw. This is excellent practice since both 
boys learn the block as well as the punch. Note that the 
heads have rolled a bit to the right, and the right hands 
have caught the left jabs just a few inches from the chins, 
but the right gloves still do not come into contact with 
the faces. Frequently a boxer makes the mistake of holding 
his right glove against his face. This is wrong as he receives 



part of the impact in blocking a blow. Also guard against 
the mistake of instinctively reaching out with the right 
glove to block a jab. If this error is made, the opponent 
(white trunks) may feint with a left jab, and then follow 
with a left hook as shown in Illustration 30. This can be 
a disastrous error. Have your boys draw back into the on- 
guard position, practicing the blow and block. Stress again 
and again that, after the jab, the arm comes straight back, 
thereby offsetting a possible right-hand counter. It is not 
dropped as in Illustration 2 1 . 

Practicing the Right Cross 

From the on-guard position (Illustration 31) the 
blocker (white trunks) for convenience lowers his left 
arm to give the puncher (dark trunks) practice in landing 
the right cross (Illustration 32). Note that the puncher 
follows straight through. His left hand is back protecting, 
and also in position to punch. Always, one hand out, one 
hand back. The puncher draws back into the on-guard 
position. Go through the entire motion, again and again. 

Note that the blocker has caught the right cross with 
his right glove and has rolled away from the blow. His 
left shoulder is carried high as an added precaution. When 
practicing this step the blocker tends to roll or pull too 
far away from the puncher. This is wrong, because in an 
actual bout he will not have so much time to roll with 
the blow. Therefore, practice the block just as it will be 
used in a bout. Again note that the blocker does not 
carry his glove against his face, nor does he reach out for 
the right cross. The two boxers paired off for this practice 
should change from offense to defense occasionally, so that 



both get practice in blocking as well as in punching. Im- 
press upon your boys that it is just as important to learn 
to block as it is to learn to punch. 

Counter for the Right Cross 

I stated that the blocker (white trunks), for convenience 
in practice, drops his left arm. In an actual bout he would 
keep his left high and counter a right hand by a left jab 
to the shoulder of the original puncher (dark trunks) as 
in Illustration 33, or by a jab to the jaw. Emphasize that 
a good jabber can beat a right-hand puncher nine times 
out of ten. The left hand travels only a short distance to 
the point of contact, whereas the right cross must travel 
at least twice the distance to the point of contact. Hence, 
as shown in the illustration, a good jab will offset a good 
right cross. 

Practicing the One-Two Punch 

Again, starting from the correct on-guard position (Illus- 
tration 34) , the puncher (dark trunks) throws the left 
jab (the Number One punch) and moves into position 
for the right-hand shot (Illustration 35). Note that he 
holds his right hand back to keep his opponent guessing 
as to whether or not he will throw more jabs, a left hook, 
or the right hand. The blocker keeps his shoulder high 
and rolls to his right just slightly. 

The puncher (dark trunks) immediately follows the left 
jab with the right cross, or Number Two punch (Illustra- 
tion 36). Note that the left is snapped back for protection 
and is ready to go again. Proper timing is all-important. 
The Number Two punch (right cross) must instantly 
follow the Number One (left jab). The puncher must 



not telegraph his right by pulling it back, or by lifting up 
the elbow. The right must be snapped right from the on- 
guard position. Note that the block is the same as for the 
right cross. Again, the left is dropped by the puncher only 
for practice purposes. If the puncher hesitates between 
the One and Two punches, the blocker usually will 
counter with his left, thereby offsetting the right-hand 

The one-two punch is usually more effective after the 
puncher has bothered his opponent with a series of jabs, 
mixed in with a few left hooks, or a feint, followed by the 
left hook. The objective should be to bother the opponent 
so much with the left that a good right-hand opening is 
made. When the opening appears, the boxer should let 
the right fly without hesitation, and without trying to 
punch too hard. Stress to your boys that they must not 
punch hard, but fast, letting the speed provide the punch- 
ing power. 

Left to the Body 

A left to the body is usually a dangerous offensive punch 
to lead with, but it is effective as a counter punch when 
slipping a left jab. To be on the safe side, warn your boys 
that they should never lead with a left jab to the body 
because of the danger of a right-hand counter. But they 
may use the left after slipping the opponent's left jab, then 
countering with the left to the body. 

Practicing the Left Counter to the Body 

Both boys start off from the regular on-guard position 
(Illustration 37). 



Note in Illustration 38 that the puncher (white trunks) 
has led off with a left jab (the Number One punch) and 
that the counter puncher (dark trunks) has moved his 
head to the right, just enough to slip the jab. The counter 
puncher (dark trunks) throws his own left jab to the 
heart of his opponent. Again, for illustrative purposes, 
the original puncher (white trunks) drops his right glove 
to his body to block the left counter. The same twisting 
motion of the fist is used by the boxer when executing both 
the left and the right to the body, as well as when punching 
the left and the right to the head. This step should be prac- 
ticed over and over again so that the counter puncher 
will be able to duck and counter instinctively. 

Wrong Way to Use a Left to the Body 
In Illustration 39 the boxer (dark trunks) has tried to 
lead with a left to the body and, in doing so, gets caught 
with a right-hand counter punch. The jab to the body 
is not a hard enough blow to justify taking this chance. 
Used as a counter with the boxer coming towards his 
opponent, the left to the body becomes a stiffer blow. 
Risking being hit by a hard right to the head, as shown 
in the illustration, is poor ring generalship. 

Right to the Body 

The right to the body is also a dangerous punch with 
which to lead off, but it is effective as another counter 
punch after a left hand is thrown. This punch is really 
punishing and often ends a bout if executed correctly. It 
is difficult to train boys to punch to the body rather than 
to the head, but once they learn to do a good job of body 



punching, it certainly pays dividends. We often ask: "Why 
hurt your hands on a hard head when there is so much 
body to punch at?" and then answer: "The point of the 
chin is only an inch long, whereas there is a foot of body 
to shoot at." 

Practicing the Right to the Body 

Again from the regular on-guard position (Illustration 
40), the original puncher (white trunks) leads off with 
a left jab (Illustration 41), and his opponent (dark 
trunks) slips his head to his left, meanwhile throwing his 
right glove to the heart. For purposes of illustration, the 
right glove is placed to catch the right to the body. This 
allows the counter puncher to put some zip into his 
punches. This procedure should be practiced many times, 
with the boys taking turns as puncher and counter- 

The Wrong Way to Throw the Right to the Body 

The boxer (dark trunks) tried to lead with a right 
to the body, with the result shown in Illustration 42. The 
boxer (white trunks) for whom the right was intended 
beats his opponent to the punch with a left jab, thereby 
making the right-hand punch miss. He (white trunks) 
also had the alternative of hopping back and throwing 
a left hook (Illustration 43), or of following up the left 
jab with a good right cross (Illustration 44). In any event, 
the boxer trying to lead with a right to the body usually 
gets into trouble and unnecessarily catches a couple of 



The boxing student should be taught that whenever 
he bends or slides to his right he is to punch out with his 
left, and when he bends or slides to his left, he is to punch 
out with his right hand. This is true for both head and 
body punches. 

After you have drilled your boxers sufficiently in the 
left and right hand punches to the body, they have at 
their command three choices of counters for their oppo- 
nent's left jab: (1) countering the left jab with another 
left jab (Illustration 45); (2) slipping the left-jab lead 
by bending or moving the head to the right and jabbing 
the left to the body (Illustration 46); (3) slipping the 
left jab lead by bending the head to the left and punching 
with the right to the body (Illustration 47). 


The Left Hook 

There is now only one more necessary punch to be 
mastered by the prospective champion. It is the left hook, 
which we will call Number Five. 

Boxing is not a difficult sport to learn or to coach. It 
is a matter, for the pupil, of mastering a few fundamental 
punches and blocks; for the coach, of being able to teach 
the necessary technique in these punches. A left jab 
and a right cross, interspersed with a few left hooks, com- 
prise the necessary repertoire. A boxer correctly executing 
these three punches will win over the "fancy Dan" every 

The Left Hook 

The left hook is the most difficult of the punches to 
master, and consequently a bit more difficult to teach. But 
once accomplished, it pays dividends. As with the jab and 
cross, there are a few "musts" to be followed in delivering 
a proper left hook. Let us examine the steps to be fol- 

Illustration 48 shows the position of the feet at the 
start of the left hook, and Illustration 49 portrays the 
finish of the left hook. At the start of the hook the feet 
are in the regular on-guard position. That is, the boxer 



is on the ball of the left or front foot, and on the toe 
of the back or right foot. At the finish, this is reversed. 
The boxer is on the toe of the front foot, and on the ball 
of the back foot. Note further that both toes at the finish 
twist to the right, and the left knee is bent. This is neces- 
sary because of the pivot of the body to the right when 
the left hook is thrown. Much of the "kick" behind the 
left hook is accomplished by this footwork, thus the shift 
from the toe of the back foot to the toe of the front foot 
is vitally important. It is good practice for the coach to 
have his boys go through this foot shifting over and over 
again, before teaching the actual punch. 

Illustration 50 shows the start of the left hook and Illus- 
tration 51, the finish. The left hook must begin from the 
on-guard position for proper deception. The opponent 
does not know whether to expect a jab, a cross, a feint, 
or a hook, as long as they all start from the same position. 
Note that, at the finish of the punch, the left thumb is 
up, just as it was at the start of the punch (Illustrations 50 
and 51). There is no twist of the fist as in delivering the 
left jab and cross. This is necessary for the proper protec- 
tion of the hand. Note further that the forearm is rigid 
from the elbow to the knuckles, and does not bend at the 
•wrist. This makes for greater punching power and pre- 
vents sprained wrists. The hook is thrown in a half arc 
to the opponent's chin, and with a complete follow- 
through motion for power. 

A left hook, thrown properly, has a tremendous "kick" 
to it. It must be a loose, easy, snappy, punch. Frequently 
a boxer tries to put too much body behind the punch, 
thereby making it a push punch. The hook is a loose, 



arm-propelled punch. The "kick" comes from the loose- 
ness of the delivery and the proper pivoting of the feet 
and body. Another advantage of a left hook, in addition 
to the "kick," is the short distance it travels to reach the 
opponent's chin. Naturally it is a quicker and easier punch 
to land than the longer-traveling right cross. The hook 
moves about a third of the distance and is a more deceptive 

As previously stated, the left hook is the most difficult 
of the punches to master, but I have found that working 
on the light punching bag is an ideal way to learn this 

I shall never forget the surprise of one of my boys the 
first time he tried a left hook in an intercollegiate match. 
He was an excellent boxer, but had never thown a left 
hook. We had him practice the punch for three days on 
the light punching bag, two or three rounds each day. At 
the outset of the next match, he walked out to the center 
of the ring, feinted his left jab to the body, and then 
threw a left hook to the chin. His opponent dropped for- 
ward into his arms and the bout was over. Needless to 
say, he was probably as much surprised as his opponent, 
and was a convert to the left hook from that time on. 

Illustrations 52 to 56 inclusive show the sequence of 
punches to be used on the bag to obtain the proper form 
and zip in throwing a left hook. Illustration 52: The left 
jab; hitting the bag straight ahead. Illustration 53: On 
the rebound, hitting the bag with the back of the left 
hand. Note rigid forearm. Illustration 54: On the next 
rebound, hitting the bag straight ahead with the right 
cross. Illustration 55: The next rebound, hitting the bag 



with the back of the right hand, while the left is in position 
to throw a hook. 

In Illustration 56, showing the last of these practice 
punches on the bag, the boxer is coming across the side 
of the bag, with a loose, snappy left hook, thumb upward, 
and forearm rigid. Most boxers will at first pull their left 
hand back too far before throwing the hook. This should 
be corrected, and the point stressed that the left shoulder 
is never pulled back or lowered when the boxer is throw- 
ing the hook. Remember — the hook is a short, snappy 
punch. Enough power can be put into the punch without 
pulling the arm far back. 

In addition to this left hook practice on the punching 
bags, the boys may be paired up the same way as when 
practicing the jabs and crosses to the chin and body. One 
does the punching and another the blocking, with fre- 
quent switching around so that the boys leam both the 
punch and the block. 

From the regular on-guard position (Illustration 57) 
the puncher in dark tru nk s (Illustration 58) practices 
throwing the left hook, remembering not to "telegraph" 
the hook by dropping the left shoulder or by pulling 
the arm back before throwing the punch. Note that the 
blocker catches the punch right alongside his jaw with 
his glove, and moves in, not out. The natural reaction 
seems to be to pull away or out from a left hook. This is 
absolutely the wrong thing to do. If the blocker moves 
in, the hook often ends harmlessly around his neck (Illus- 
tration 59). Many times, however, the blocker (white 
trunks) gets a good chance, when moving in, to counter 
with a right hand. The boxers have changed positions in 



Illustration 60 to give the reader a clearer view of a 
right-hand counter. 

One-Two-Three to the Chin 

Now that we have fully discussed the left hook, we 
go into the next sequences of punches — the one-two-three 
to the chin or, in other words, the left jab, the right cross, 
and the left hook. Illustrations 61 to 65 demonstrate the 
proper technique to be used for both the puncher and the 

Starting again from the on-guard position (Illustration 
61), the puncher throws the left jab (Illustration 62). 
Note that the blocker (white trunks), for convenience in 
practicing, * drops his left hand, and catches the jab with 
his right hand. 

In Illustration 63 the puncher (dark trunks) throws 
the right cross (Number Two punch) straight and sharp, 
inside, and has his left hand back in position, ready to 
let loose with the left hook. The left hand is carried high, 
around his face, both for protection and to be in the 
proper position to throw a fast hook without "telegraph- 
ing" it. 

In Illustration 64 the puncher (dark trunks), zips over 
the left hook to the chin (Number Three punch) loose 
and fast and in a half-arc movement. The blocker has 
shifted his right hand from the left side of his chin, which 
was the place where he blocked punches One and Two, 
to the right side of his jaw to block the hook, and his 
head is moved in, not out. Stress the fact that blocking 
is just as important as punching. Note that the puncher 
(dark trunks) has brought his right glove back while 



his left hook is out, thereby protecting his own chin in 
the event of a counter. Illustration 65 shows what happens 
when the puncher (dark trunks) forgets to draw his own 
right back to cover his chin. His opponent (white trunks) 
counters with a sharp right cross. That one mistake may 
cost the puncher a bout because he became careless and 
did not protect his own chin. Boxers must always remem- 
ber: when one hand is out punching, the other hand 
should be back blocking, and in position to deliver another 

The preceding three illustrations provide very good 
examples for both punchers and blockers. These steps 
should be taken slowly at first until the boys get the 
rhythm and timing. Then the tempo should be increased 
into the one-two-three timing with no hesitation between 
punches. No one of the three punches should be stressed 
above the others. They all must be thrown loosely and 
sharply to be effective. 

One-Two-Three to the Body 

After a boxer has thrown a few one-two-threes to the 
chin, his opponent will likely guard against repetition of 
the same sequence. Usually the opponent, in his eager- 
ness to block the left hook, will raise his right elbow up 
high enough to allow a left hook to be thrown to the body, 
hence we should study next the one-two-three sequence 
to the body. The following method should be used in 
perfecting it. 

From the regular on-guard position (Illustration 66) 
the puncher throws a left jab (Illustration 67), moving 
into position for the Number Two punch, the right cross 



(Illustration 68). The puncher (dark trunks) throws the 
right cross, drawing his left hand into position in readi- 
ness to throw the hook. Note that the left hand is brought 
back high, just as when the left hook to the chin was 
thrown. This is necessary for protection. 

The puncher (dark trunks) throws the left hook to 
the body, rather than to the chin (Illustration 69). De- 
ception is lacking if the left hook is dropped down and 
then thrown. It must lower to the opponent's body on the 
way over. Observe how the puncher has brought his right 
hand back to protect his chin against a possible right-hand 
counter. The danger in throwing a left hook to the body 
is the same as in delivering the left jab to the body — 
the boxer's chin is exposed to a sharp right-hand counter. 

After a coach has carefully instructed his boys in the 
execution of the few punches we have analyzed, namely 
the jab, right cross, and left hook, his job is done as far as 
fundamentals are concerned. From this point on the boxer 
uses variations of these three fundamental punches. 

Actually, the average high school, college, or amateur 
boxer who has mastered the jab to the chin, a fair one-two, 
with an occasional left hook thrown in for good luck, will 
come out victorious in the vast majority of his bouts, 
without ever learning any further variations of the 
punches. However, for the benefit of coaches and boxers 
who wish to familiarize themselves with the variations, I 
will include a few of the more simple and popular ones. 


Punch Variations 


fundamentals are concerned, when the boys were carefully 
drilled in executing the left and right to the chin and 
body, and the left hook. I am an advocate of perfecting 
the simple fundamentals, using them at the right time, 
and then letting the opponent make the mistakes. How- 
ever, following are some of the most effective variations 
which are not difficult to master. 

Left Jab — Right to the Body — Left Hook to the Jaw 

Against a boxer who carries his left elbow high or 
extends it too far out from the body thereby leaving an 
opening for a right to the body, the following sequence 
is effective: a left jab to the jaw (Illustration 70) ; a right 
to the body (Illustration 71) under the opponent's high 
left, moving in at the same time to be able to follow with 
the left hook. Note that the puncher (dark trunks) has 
drawn back his left high to protect his chin and to be closer 
to the target. After the right to the body the opponent 
often drops his hands, thereby leaving an opening for the 
third punch, the left hook to the chin (Illustration 72). 

Against a tense or tightened-up opponent, a left feint 



to the body may be used (Illustration 73). The puncher 
(white trunks) feints to the body to draw the opponent's 
hands down. This is often effective at the start of the first 
round. This may be followed by a left hook to the chin. 
With the opponent’s hands drawn down, the puncher 
(white trunks) whips across a left hook to the chin (Illus- 
tration 74). 

Double Left Hook 

The puncher (dark trunks) throws the left hook to the 
body lightly, to draw his opponent's hand down (Illustra- 
tion 75). The puncher must make sure his own chin is 
covered with his right glove. This is followed by a left 
hook to the chin (Illustration 76). The puncher (dark 
trunks), after drawing his opponent’s hands down, whips 
a second left hook to the chin. This variation is very effec- 
tive, but, again, is dangerous because of exposing the chin. 
A sharp right-hand counter usually does the trick against 
the careless body puncher. 

Again, against a nervous, tense opponent, the following 
variation usually works: The puncher (dark trunks) feints 
with a left jab to draw the opponent's right glove away 
from his jaw (Illustration 77). This is followed by a left 
hook (Illustration 78). The puncher (dark trunks), after 
drawing out the right hand of his opponent, has a good 
shot at his chin with a fast left hook. The right hand is 
kept back and high, ready to follow up the left hook with 
a sharp right if the opportunity arises. 

The puncher immediately follows the left hook with 
his right cross (Illustration 79). This variation is often 



used in place of the left-right-hook, making it a left-hook- 
right sequence. 

Many more variations might be suggested and illus- 
trated, but it has been my experience that giving the boys 
too many punch sequences tends to confuse rather than 
help them. The previously-mentioned variations and se- 
quences, along with the regular fundamentals, are sufficient 
for any boxer. 

The Right Uppercut 

I suggest spending comparatively little time on the right 
uppercut. Only it the opponent has his head bent down 
and forward, and is coming forward, is the punch effective. 
We once taught our Wisconsin boxers the right upper- 
cut and worked on the punch for one week before we met 
a particular team. This was only because the boxers on 
that team were coached in a boring-in style against which 
the uppercut was very effective. Since those particular 
matches we have not been fortunate enough to meet a 
team whose boxers were "cousins" for right uppercuts. 
Consideration of left uppercuts is purposely omitted. I 
have never seen an effective left uppercut. I occasionally 
hear about them. 

The puncher (dark trunks) must not tip off his upper- 
cut (Illustration 80) by dropping his right just before 
he throws the punch. The uppercut is delivered by lower- 
ing the right on the way across and "scooping" up and 
to the jaw. Note the position of the hand upon contact. 
The puncher lands with the four knuckles of the right 
fist, and pivots his body as the punch is thrown in order 



to get the proper "kick." Note further that the left hand 
is drawn back and high to protect the chin. 

The right uppercut to the body (Illustration 81) is 
sometimes effective when the opponent is coming in with 
hands high. Note the twist of the puncher's body; also 
the left hand which is back and high as a defense against 
the opponent's possible right-hand counter. This is a 
dangerous punch to throw unless the opponent is a proper 
target — crouching with hands held high. 


Scouting Future Opponents 

Scouting is of great value in team sports. The same 
is true in respect to scouting in boxing. Looking over a 
future opponent engaged in a boxing match with a third 
team does not present the same problems inasmuch as 
you must watch only one man at a time. 

The primary purpose of scouting is to determine the 
strong points of each man on a team to be met at a future 
date. You must then figure a defense to combat the of- 
fensive strength of each man, and at the same time pick 
out his weaknesses so that you can show your boxer how 
to take advantage of them. 

Your boxer will benefit by knowing whether the man 
he is to face (1) is an aggressive boxer; (2) is a counter 
puncher; (3) is right or left-handed; (4) is taller or 
shorter; (5) has a longer or shorter reach; (6) is a boxer 
or a swinger; (7) carries his hands high or low; (8) is a 
straight puncher or hooker; (9) is vulnerable to body or 
head blows; (10) is orthodox or unorthodox in move- 
ments around the ring; (11) presses, or moves in side-to- 
side; (12) stands up straight or uses a weaving style; (13) 
makes any special or peculiar movements that give away 
his next move — i.e., does he drop his left before he hooks; 
does he raise his elbows before a straight right; is he tense, 



thereby susceptible to being feinted out of position; (14) 
is a cool-headed boxer, or changes according to the way 
the bout is progressing; (15) drops his left after a jab, 
thereby making himself vulnerable to a right; (16) uses 
his right hand, if a southpaw? 

All the above information must be summed up and 
given to your boxer on the basis of his capability to com- 
bat or take advantage of it. In other words, if you discover 
that a future opponent is open to a sharp jab, for example, 
but your boxer is not a jabber, another plan of attack 
would have to be devised. We often know what punches 
would definitely work against an opponent, but we must 
determine whether or not the boxer we are advising can 
properly use that particular punch. Some boxers, for 
example, cannot use left hooks, hence should not be in- 
structed to throw them and in so doing take a chance of 
being hit with a hard right-hand counter. The entire 
situation must be summed up, and your advice given 


1 . Proper start of the 
bandaging. Loop through the 
thumb, starting high on the 
wrist, fingers apart, wrist 
rigid, and wrapping away from 
the body. 

2. Wrap in form of an "X" 
to fully protect the bones of the 
fist and work down to the 
knuckles, wrapping three or 
four loops over the thumb 
joint, and three layers over 
the knuckles. 

3. Bring the last loop up 
to the wrist; tear the end into 
two strings to enable you to 
tie a knot. As in the 
illustration, the bandage must 
be high on the wrist, affording 
the thumb and bones of 
the hand full protection. 

4. Proper position of the 
fist for the start of the jab, 
cross, and hook, with 
either hand. The 
thumb knuckle points 
up-B a r d, the other 
knuckles outward. 

5. Proper position fora 
jab, and for the right cross 
at the time of impact. The 
thumb knuckle points 
inward, the other 
knuckles upward. 

6. At point of impact of 
the left hook, the thumb 
knuckle is pointing upward. 

7. The wrong way to land 
a left hook. An injured thumb 
is usually the result. 

8. Proper position of the 
forearm when landing all 
blows. The wrist is never 

9. Start of the on-guard position. Note 10. The boxer slides the left foot 

that the hands are down, the fists are forward, 

properly closed, and the feet are parallel 
to each other. 

33. After assuming- his foot position, 
the boxer bends his body and swings 
from left to right to determine whether 
or not he has proper balance. 

14. A boxer with feet too far apart has to stretch too far for 
a right-hand shot at his opponent. 

18. Front view of complete and 
correct on-guard position. 

19. Start of the left jab from the 
on-guard position. 

20. Completion of the left jab 

21. Wrong: way for a boxer to 
bring his left hand back after de- 
livering a left jab. 

1 7 ^ ' • £ 




1 ] 





V s 

25. Start of the right cross. 

26. Completion of the right cross. 

27. The wrong way to deliver a right 


31. The right cross: 
blocker (white trunks) and 
puncher (dark trunks in m- 
Kiiard position. 

33. Blocker (white 
trunks) keeps his right 
high and counters a right 
and by a left jab to the 
shoulder of the original 

32. The blocker (white 
trunks) lowers his left arm 
to give the puncher (dark 
trunks) practice in landing 
the right cross. 

34. The One-Two Punch 
Puncher (dark trunks) am 
blocker are in the on 
guard position. 

35. The puncher throws the 
left jab (the Number One 
punch) and moves into 
position for the right-hand 

36. The puncher inline 
diate follows the left jab 
with the right cross, on 
Number Two punch. 

37. Practicing the left 
counter to the body: the on- 
guard position. 

41. Original puncher 
(white trunks) leads off with a 
left jab. and his opponent slips 
his head to his left, meanwhile 
throwing his right glove to the 

42. The boxer (dark 
trunks) tried to lead with a 
right to the body. 

46. Slipping: a left jab 
lead by bending or moving 
the head to the right and 
jabbing the left to the 

47. Slipping a left jab 
lead by bending the head 
to the left and punching 
with the right to the body. 

48. Position of the feet at the 49. Position of the feet at the 

start of the left hook. finish of the left hook. 


52. Sequence of punches for the left 53. On the rebound, hitting the bag with 
hook: The left jab — hitting the bag the back of the left hand, 

straight ahead. 

54. On the next rebound, the bag is hit 
straight ahead with the right cross. 

55. On the next rebound, the bag is hit 56. The boxer is coming across the 

with the back of the right hand, side of the bag, with a loose, snappy left 

while the left is in a position to throw hook, 

a hook. 

57. The regular on- 
guard position. 

58. The puncher in dark 
trunks practices throwing 
the left hook. 

59. If the blocker (white 
trunks) moves in, the 
hook ends harmlessly 
around his neck. 

63. The puncher (dark 
trunks) throws the right 
cross (Number Two 

64. The puncher (dark 
trunks) zips over the left 
hook to the chin (Number 
Three punch). 

65. The puncher (dark 
trunks) has forgotten 
to draw his own right 
back cover his chin. 

75. The puncher (dark 
trunks) throws the left 
hook to the body lightly, 
draw his opponent's and 

76. After making sure his 
own chin is covered with 
his right glove, puncher 
throws a left hook to the chin. 

77. Another variation: 
puncher (dark trunks) 
feints with a left jab to 
draw the opponent's right 
glove away from his jaw. 



i ^ 

I * 


78. This is followed by a left hook. 

79. The left hook is followed by a right cross. 

80. The puncher (dark trunks) must not tip off 
his uppercut by dropping his right just before he 
throws his punch. 

81. The right uppercut to the body. 

82. Boxer should not sprawl over 
his corner. 

83. He should assume a comfortable 
and natural sitting position, with knees 

84. The specially designed glove 
now used in college and high school 

85. A suggested padding 
arrangement for ring 



1 I* 



x' .-'4h 


86. Left, the competitive headgear now used in actual 
matches: right, the regular training headgear. 

87. Boxer checks his on-guard 88. Boxer checks his punching motions 

position before a full-length before the mirror, 


93. The wrong way to throw a 

94. Father and son have thrown jabs 
simultaneously, thus learning both the 
punch and the blocks. 

95. Son is practicing his right with 
father's chin as target. 

96. A light uppercut will show the 
boy the weaknesses of this attack. 

99. Mass instruction drill with stress on on-guard position. Program Director 

Champagne is at right. 

100. Participants in the boxing school look on while Program Director Neil 
Champagne demonstrates the fundamental position in the delivery of a left jab. 

101. Eight boys in the ring at the same time, participating in Controlled Boxing 

102. Light and heavy bag drill used in teaching proper hitting techniques 

Boxing Tips 

Boxing a Southpaw 

It is generally agreed that a southpaw has a distinct 
advantage in a three-round amateur bout. The reason 
is simple. A southpaw is accustomed to boxing a right- 
hander, whereas most right-handers are unfamiliar with 
southpaw tactics. 

Normally southpaws are strictly left-handed punchers, 
and use their right hand merely to offset the right-hander's 
extended left hand. It is for this reason that, when we get 
a southpaw on our squad, we immediately teach him how 
to deliver a right jab and a right hook. The right hook 
is very effective as an offensive punch; also as a counter- 
punch thrown immediately after a short hop-back. A 
southpaw who uses his right hand efficiently along with 
his normally effective left hand is hard to beat. 

We have taught the following successful tactics: The 
right-hander must very definitely circle to his left, away 
from the southpaw's potent left hand. He must keep his 
left hand high, and either beat the southpaw to the punch 
with a sharp right, or feint with his right-hand punch, hop 
back, and then counter with a sharp right. After each 



right-hand, follow immediately with a left hook. The 
sequence, therefore, is: a straight right, followed by a left 
hook, rather than the normal sequence used against another 
right-hander — i.e., the left jab, followed by the right cross 
and sometimes the left hook. 

If the southpaw maintains a proper stance, with his right 
hind high, the right-hander’s left jab will be ineffective. It is 
for this reason that we teach the lead-with-the-right-hand, 
followed immediately by the left hook. The right-hand lead 
is bad against another right-hander, but must be used against 
a southpaw. The important thing to remember at all times 
against a southpaw is that you must never move to your 
right , into his left hand. Be sure you come back immediately 
with your left hook after your right cross. 

Boxing a Right-Hander 

A right-hander must keep his chin down, and his left 
shoulder and left hand up. When the left hand or 
shoulder drops, the chin is exposed, leaving him open 
to a right-hand shot. We make it a rule that whenever an 
opponent is careless enough to drop his left hand the 
opening calls for an immediate right-hand shot. 

Odd as it may seem, one of the most frequent mistakes 
made by a boxer is dropping the left hand, thereby leaving 
himself open for right-hand punches. As a result, all boxers 
should be carefully trained and coached to take advantage of 
this mistake by throwing sharp, straight rights, once the 
opportunity presents itself. Y our boxer should be taught that 
a short, straight right, rather than a hard, telegraphed right 
will do the trick. The opportunity is usually there 



only for an instant, hence the short, fast right rather than 
the looping, hard right. 

Many opponents carry their left high when they start 
the jab, but carelessly drop the left law after the jab. The 
boxer should be taught to size up the situation readily 
and take advantage of it by riding away from the left jab, 
and immediately riding in with a straight right over the 
returning low left. If your boxer does not take advantage 
of this opportunity, it is your duty to advise him in the 
corner just how he may do so. 

A grave mistake often made by boxers throwing left 
hooks is the practice of either dropping the hook upon 
delivery, or throwing it in too wide an arc. This error 
naturally makes the boxer very susceptible to a straight 
right hand, and should be taken advantage of as soon as 
the left shoulder is lowered or the wide arc begins. 
Again, if your boy is making this mistake it is your duty 
to point it out to him. If the mistake is being made by the 
opponent, see to it that your boy takes advantage of it. 
When you are throwing the left hook, your right hand 
must cover the left side of your face, as a precaution in 
case your opponent beats you to the punch with a right- 
hand counter. 

Boxers often make the mistake of trying to lean away 
from a hook rather than bending inside the blow as they 
should when competing against an opponent with a good 
left hook. If an attempt is made to lean away from the 
hook, on the second try the hooker will merely reach out 
a little further and connect. If the opponent bends inside 
the hook, even though he does not counter with the right 
hand, the left hook will end up harmlessly around his 



It is often hard to get an amateur boxer to use body 
punches effectively. We try to convey to the boys the idea 
that they have a foot of body to shoot at for each inch 
of chin. Further, by driving punches home into your 
opponent's body you usually cause him to lower his hands, 
thereby presenting you an excellent opportunity to land 
on his chin. Often a boxer will aim constantly at the 
chin, even though his opponent's hands and shoulders are 
high, thus presenting easy opportunities to land a punch 
to the body. A boxer with a variety of body and head 
punches is obviously a more dangerous opponent than one 
who directs all his punches at the head. 

Advice from the Corner 

Many bouts are won or lost through the advice given 
between rounds. With rest periods lasting only one min- 
ute, every second should be utilized. The coach must first 
realize that his boy is coming back primarily for a rest. 
He should not allow his boxer to sprawl all over the comer 
as in Illustration 82. The boxer should assume a com- 
fortable, natural sitting position as in Illustration 83. The 
knees should be bent, not stretched out as in Illustration 
82, nor should the arms and gloves be stretched over the 
top rope as shown in the same illustration. The boxer 
should be made to take good deep breaths as a means of 
regaining his normal breathing. Water should not be 
given until about 20 seconds of the rest period have 
elapsed. The mouthpiece should be removed immediately 
and washed, then replaced in the mouth at the 10-second 

As to the advice, that naturally varies according to the 



bout and the boxers involved. 1 believe, however, that a 
big mistake is made in trying to cram too much advice 
into the boxer in the short time allotted. As a result, the 
boxer often becomes confused and does not retain any of 
the advice. It is much better to pick out the one or two 
main weaknesses of the opponent. The second should no- 
tify his boxer of these weaknesses and tell him which 
punches to use to take advantage of them. Further, the 
second should pick out the one main mistake his boxer 
is making and emphasize that point alone. 1 have often 
seen boys come to their corners between rounds compara- 
tively calm, only to get no rest whatsoever because the 
coach or second was excited and tried to fill them too full 
of advice. 

Often a coach must teach his boys to heed advice given 
between rounds. Some boys are too excitable and pay no 
attention. Others drink in every word of advice. This 
point should be impressed upon the boxers before the 
match: the second or coach in the corner can see many 
of the faults of the opponent that the boxer misses, hence 
the advice given between rounds may very well be the 
difference between winning and losing. The principal 
things to be remembered are (1) complete relaxation; (2) 
water after 20 seconds; (3) not too much advice. Point 
out the important mistakes being made by both boys, and 
advise how to take advantage of the opponent's mistakes. 
Don't confuse the boxers by pointing out many things all 
at one time. 

Additional Equipment 

Illustration 84 shows the specially designed glove now 
used in college and high school boxing. Note the webs 



between the thumbs and forefingers. This prevents thumb 
injuries and eye bruises. The padding is thin at the wrist 
and heavier over the hitting surface. The glove widens 
out over the kn uckles or hitting surface. Twelve-ounce 
gloves are now used in colleges and gloves of 12 and 14 
ounces in high schools. 

Illustration 85 shows a suggested padding arrangement 
for ring corners. The pad runs from the padded cap over 
the corner post, down past the first rope from the floor, 
over to the bottom of the post. This eliminates any pos- 
sible injuries from contact with the turnbuckles. 

Illustration 86 shows (at the left) the competitive head- 
gear now used in actual matches. It is very light in weight 
and snug; it is adjustable under the chin, on top and in 
the back, and does not obstruct the vision in any manner. 
It completely eliminates the possibility of eye cuts or 
bruised ears. This headgear is now mandatory in actual 
matches in both colleges and high schools and has met with 
100 per cent approval from both boxers and coaches. The 
headgear shown at the right in Illustration 86 is the regular 
training headgear. It is heavier and more sturdy, thereby 
providing the necessary protection for training work-outs. 

A full-length mirror as shown in Illustrations 87 and 88 
is a very valuable piece of equipment for all boxers. Boys 
can correct many faults by shadow-boxing in front of the 
mirror, watching the position of their hands, their feet, 
checking whether the shoulder is up and the chin down, 
whether their punches are snapping in, and all such items 
of importance. A good practice is for the boxer to start 
off in the regular on-guard position as in Illustration 87, 
check each point, then throw a punch, as in Illustration 88, 



hold the position, and again check the "rights and wrongs." 
This method of visually watching one's own motions has 
proven invaluable to many boys. The boxer should check 
each punch in this manner to find out his own mistakes 
and to improve his technique. Mirror shadow-boxing is 
particularly good immediately after coming out of the ring 
during a work-out when the mistakes and good points are 
uppermost in the boxer's mind. A good boxer uses his 
head only to think with, and not as a target for his 


Father-Son Instruction 

Each father at some time or other during the 
"growing" years of his sons sees fit to instruct his proteges 
in the art of self-defense. 

This chapter is designed to help you, as a father, give 
the right answers to the many questions that will be di- 
rected toward you during this procedure. With a little 
careful study and digesting of this and the past chapters, 
you can get right down on your knees and be a "coach" 
of whom your son will be proud. Learning the proper 
blocks as illustrated in prior chapters will also prevent 
that embarrassing "black eye" that would be awfully hard 
to explain to your associates the next day. 

I stated at the beginning of this book that we intended 
to be very fundamental, and that the ensuing instructions 
could be used for the little boy of seven, grade school 
and high school boys, as well as the amateur golden glover, 
C.Y.O. boxer, and the collegian. Practical experience has 
proven that the "little guy" of seven can absorb the funda- 
mentals almost as readily as his big brother of twenty. We 
have been teaching "kid" classes since 1933 and find that 
boys seven to fifteen are very apt pupils — alert and reten- 
tive — and that because we get them from "scratch," they 
have no bad habits to break. 



One of the most important things a dad can teach his son 
is "how to make a proper fist," in order to avoid future 
hand injuries. We all know how a painful thumb or finger 
injury results when a baseball or football strikes the wrong 
part of the hand. The same is true if the thumb of your 
boy's fist is not properly folded, or if on landing a blow 
the force is centered on protruding knuckles. When the 
blow is properly landed the knuckles of the fist should be 
straight across (no protruding knuckles), thereby allowing 
the whole fist to absorb the force of the blow. The result 
gives the boy more power to his blow and minimizes 
chances of injury to his hands. 

I suggest that as the next step you (the father) hold 
your left hand, palm open and inward, and hit your palm 
with a closed right fist. In going through this procedure, 
check to see if the right thumb is properly curled over, 
and if the fist on contact is landing on all four knuckles, 
rather than on one or two protruding knuckles. After you 
have properly trained yourself (preferably the night be- 
fore giving son a lesson), teach him the same procedure, 
hitting the open hand with the closed right fist, and stress- 
ing the proper points of a "right" and "wrong" fist. Then 
reverse the procedure, holding the right hand open and 
hitting the palm with the left fist. 

It is odd but true that the average youngster in making 
a fist without being properly taught, will fold his thumb 
inside his closed fingers. (Illustration 89, right fist.) For 
some unknown reason he has the feeling his thumb be- 
comes better protected in this manner. This is the surest 
way to sprain, dislocate, or even break the second thumb 
joint. Boys also make the mistake of allowing the thumb 



to stick up (as in Illustration 89, left fist) instead of prop- 
erly curling the thumb over the closed fist (as in Illustra- 
tion 90). Impress this upon your son. Illustration 89 
shows the two "wrong ways." Illustration 90 shows the 
"right way." 

It is surprising how many boys grow to college age with- 
out even having been taught how to hit properly. Hence 
if the father gets no point across to his son other than the 
proper care of his hands, he has done a good job. A boy 
who is taught the proper fundamentals at an early age has 
a distinct advantage over others. If he chooses to box in 
high school, college, or as an amateur, he has a head start 
on the beginner. The coach will not have to break any 
unorthodox or bad boxing habits he has acquired by 

Your son, whether he be seven or seventeen (assum- 
ing after seventeen you would rather have another 
"coach" take him over) can be taught just exactly as we 
have illustrated in previous chapters. However, just to 
simplify the father-son relationship, get on your knees, 
put across the points suggested, and then proceed as out- 
lined in the following paragraphs. 

Illustration 91: Father is showing son the all-important 
on-guard position. Note that the left foot is always out, 
the chin is down, and the shoulder and hands are up. Put 
your son in the right position, impress each point, and rest 
assured he will retain his coaching. 

Illustration 92: The right way to throw the right hand. 
Father is pointing to the left foot which is forward as it 
should be, with the right foot back. The right hand is 



thrown straight out, and the chin is down. The left hand 
is back in position and raring to go. 

Illustration 93: The wrong way to throw the right. Son 
has followed his right hand by crossing over with his right 
leg. Father is pointing to his mistake. Son is off balance; 
also, his arm is bent instead of being straight. Moving the 
right leg across when throwing the right is a common mis- 
take made by boys, but it should be immediately corrected 
if you want your son to do a good job. 

Illustration 94: After son has learned how to hit prop- 
erly and to assume the correct on-guard, put the gloves on 
with him, get on your knees, and practice the punches 
with him. Show him how to block as well as to hit, and 
be sure you know the blocks yourself. In this illustration 
both father and son have thrown the jabs simultaneously, 
thus learning both the punch and the blocks. 

Illustration 95: Son is practicing his trusty right with 
father's chin as target. Father drops his left to allow the 
right to come across, and blocks with his own right. See 
that your son snaps the right straight across with a lot of 
zip, and that he has his fist closed, chin down, shoulder up. 
Be sure he does not throw a "roundhouse" right. 

Illustration 96: Sons sometimes become over-exuberant, 
forget their teaching, and come in swinging wild with 
head down. A good "object" lesson is readily taught by 
landing a light uppercut as shown in this illustration. Be 
sure and duck that wild right, however. 

Illustration 97: Take your boy to a sand-bag or some 
such object, and have him go through the punches you 
have taught him. Be sure to correct any mistakes he is 



making, or he will become careless when he is actually 

Illustration 98: Punching a light bag is fun. It is great 
exercise, and increases speed and coordination. Little 
boys pick up the knack very quickly after a minimum 
amount of practice. Fathers also find a punching bag excel- 
lent exercise, and unlike most exercises, they enjoy it. You 
may wear the same pleased expression as the father in the 
illustration after a few sessions of coaching your son on 
how to do it the right way. 

Sportsmanship can be taught a boy through the medium 
of boxing, perhaps better than through any other sport. 
We have always conveyed to youngsters in our "kid" classes 
that the boxing they are being taught should be used only 
in the boxing ring, not on the school grounds, or in taking 
advantage of the untrained boy. The results have been 
very gratifying. I have had grade school teachers inform 
me of occasions where our boxing class boys had oppor- 
tunities to engage in the usual school skirmishes, but 
retorted, "I'm not going to fight with you. I’ve had boxing 
lessons and you haven’t." I have also known of instances 
in which boys aggravated to action found their boxing 
lessons very handy in teaching the neighborhood bully a 
good lesson, and in making him a better sport. 

The process of teaching your boy the fundamentals of 
boxing often proves to be a great "equalizer" for him. It 
cannot help but increase his confidence, an asset which we 
as fathers all know too many boys lack. Again, I have seen 
many, many times a very timid boy gain confidence in 
himself as the lessons progress. Boys who were afraid to 



be in the same ring or class group with certain "tough" 
boys at the beginning, later, with the confidence gained 
through instruction, asked, "Coach, let me box him; I'm 
not afraid any more." 


Boxing as a Summer 
Community Recreation 

Summertime community recreation programs are 
growing in popularity and scope throughout the nation 
as the residents of the communities become more and 
more conscious of the need for supervised recreational 
activity as an outlet for the energy, inclinations, and talents 
of the young people who live in their midst. 

A model project of this nature is that sponsored by one 
of the great metropolitan dailies of our country, the Minne- 
apolis Star, under the guidance of its executive sports edi- 
tor, Charlie Johnson. It is an outdoor boxing school con- 
ducted annually in Minneapolis' Logan Park, a municipal 
recreation center. In its first four years of operation this 
program of wholesome and carefully-supervised activity 
attracted youngsters from throughout this city of more 
than a half-million population to the extent of 10,000 
activity hours. 

Because it might well serve as a blueprint for other 
communities desirous of providing healthful and con- 
structive recreation for young boys within their bounds we 



have asked Neil Champagne, director of the Minneapolis 
Star's Summer Boxing School, to tell the story of this out- 
standing and proven project. 

by Neil 

On a sun-drenched knoll of attractively-landscaped 
Logan Park in Minneapolis a group of eager youngsters 
ranging in age from 6 to 12 years had peeled down to their 
waists and were working out under the sympathetic and 
able tutelage of coaches carefully selected to direct their 
activities. It was a warm July afternoon. 

The boys came from every kind of environment. Some 
had arrived in expensive automobiles driven by parents 
of considerable means. Others whose families weren't in 
a position to give them carfare had walked in from some 
of the city's poorer districts. 

At the Minneapolis boxing camp, however, social posi- 
tion means nothing. Scion of the rich and offspring of 
the poor meet there on common ground. As one of our 
coaches put it, "They all look the same in boxing gloves 
and training helmets." 

Here was truly a fine opportunity for these boys, every 
one of whom had long harbored the desire to learn to box. 
Unfortunately the opportunity to get boxing instruction 
in a wholesome setting is afforded only a minute number 
of the boys so inclined. 

The Minneapolis boxing camp was the outgrowth of 
the determination of a group of men to provide an oppor- 



tunity for juveniles with a lot of energy to release it under 
the right kind of guidance. 

These men suggested to the committee in charge of 
disbursing profits from the Upper Midwest Golden Gloves 
tournament held in Minneapolis each spring that a sum- 
mer boxing camp be established for youngsters six years of 
age and up. It was emphasized at this point that the pro- 
gram would definitely not be concerned with developing 
professional boxing prospects, but, rather, with setting up 
an interesting program of recreation that would put em- 
phasis on the development of sportsmanship and proper 
hygienic habits. 

The committee, comprised of prominent business men, 
leading clergymen of the Jewish, Catholic, and Protestant 
faiths, the director of athletics at the University of Minne- 
sota, and Charles Johnson, executive sports editor of the 
Minneapolis Star, voiced unanimous approval of the pro- 
ject. This group allocated $3,000 for the purchase of 
equipment. Ed Haislet of the University of Minnesota 
was chosen as the director of the program. 

The staff selected to handle the program consisted of 
one supervisor and four coaches. The coaches were as- 
signed to various areas in Minneapolis corresponding to 
the city's high school districts. Each coach was held re- 
sponsible for promoting interest among the youngsters of 
his particular district. 

The initial turnout of boys was so large it was necessary 
to divide them into age groups. Under the plan that finally 
evolved, boys from six to ten worked out with their 
instructors from 6:00 to 7:00 P M and those from ten up 
took their instruction between the hours of 7:00 and 



8:00 P M. These hours were designated to enable parents 
to accompany their sons if they so desired. 

Equipment provided by the Golden Gloves fund in- 
cluded a raised all-steel platform ring, four heavy bags, 
four light bags, an exercise platform, boxing gloves, bag 
gloves, and head gears. Showers and facilities for dressing 
were constructed in the basement of the recreation build- 
ing at the playground center. 

The boxing school opens in mid-June and continues 
through July. On an average day the coaches working in 
the program handle 125 boys. To provide additional 
incentive for participation in the program a "Junior 
Golden Gloves" tournament for boys between the ages 
of six and fifteen is held as a climax to the program. 
As an indication of the interest aroused in the meet an 
audience of several thousand turns out for the show. 

Entrants in the tournament are carefully screened. Each 
boy must pass a rigid physical examination and is required 
to have the written consent of his parents together with a 
record of previous medical history. He must have attended 
50 per cent of the school's classes and be passed by the 
school's supervisor. 

In making the tournament draw the boys are classified 
according to age, weight, and experience. One year is the 
maximum age difference permitted. The spread in weight 
can be no more than five pounds. Divisions A, B, and C 
are established and the boys assigned to them according 
to ability and experience. 

Knowing that their program would be subjected to close 
scrutiny by the public, and by opponents of boxing in 



particular, the directors instituted weekly classes for the 
staff of instructors to train them in the best teaching 
methods. The coaches were given a detailed program of 
conditioning and character training, which they were 
expected to pass on to their youthful charges. 

To enlist the support of parents and the community as 
a whole the sponsors of the Minneapolis boxing program 
carried on an extensive publicity campaign. The opening 
day's events include exhibitions and demonstrations, and 
talks by prominent businessmen, distinguished athletes, 
government officials, and community leaders. Each extols 
the value of sports participation. 

Mike Dillon, Hennepin County attorney, told the 200 

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Application (front) 

boys and the 1,000 adults who- attended the opening meet- 
ing, "I am certain that the more of you boys who go in 
for boxing under the competent teachers engaged for this 
camp, the fewer of you will ever see the inside of a court- 



room later in life. The training you are to receive will 
contribute much toward making you better men physically 
and morally." 

So successful has been the selling job done by the men 
behind this community boxing program that Minneapolis 
parents are now thoroughly convinced that the youthful 
boxers are participating in a wholesome, health-building, 
program of recreation. 

The worth of the program from a sportsmanship point 
of view was very graphically brought home to me after 
one of the championship matches. 

Two lads, giving forth with everything they had to win, 
engaged in a very well-boxed and keenly-contested bout. 




I, of my own volition, wont to participate In Golden 
dove instruction, tournaments and matches. In considera- 
tion thereof, I hereby, for myself, heirs, executors and ad- 
ministrators, waive and release any and oil of my rights 
and claims for damages I may have against all othor con- 
testants, and against the Minneapolis Star and Tribune 
Charities, Inc., the Minnesota Amateur Athletic Union and 
against their respresentatives or assigns, for any and all 
injuries suffered in Golden Glove participation, in instruc- 
tion, tournaments and matches. - 

Application (back) 

When it was all over the boy who had been declared the 
winner went home, wrote a letter to his finals opponent, 
and enclosed the medal, declaring that he felt the judges 
had erred in awarding him the decision. 



Who wouldn’t be whole-heartedly in favor of a program 
that fosters this kind of exemplary conduct? 

Details of the Minneapolis Star 
Summer Boxing Program for Boys 

The summer boxing program for boys sponsored by the 
Minneapolis Star is now a proven and widely-accepted 
venture in giving boys a sound start toward successful 

In the sincere hope that organizations and individuals 
in many other communities will see fit to follow the exam- 
ple of the Star I will set forth in the remainder of this 
chapter a concise summary of the program, with the idea 
in mind that it may serve as a pattern for similar 

Program Objectives 

To stimulate interest in boxing for red-blooded young- 
sters who have spare time during the summer and have 
need of a program under good leadership to keep them 
occupied and interested, the program to be geared to the 
teaching of proper hygienic habits — rest, sleep, diet, exer- 
cise, and physical conditioning, as well as the teaching of 
basic fundamentals of boxing. 

To encourage parents to observe what boxing can do 
for their boys physically, mentally, and emotionally. 

To instill the spirit of companionship and sportsman- 
ship in boys at an age when boys are anxious and eager 
to prove themselves, and take delight in combative games 
and contact sports. 



Program Facilities 

The training center originally was located in the center 
of the city but due to the fact that the city decided to 
build a municipal stadium on this site the program was 
moved to one of the city playgrounds. Arrangements were 
made and permission was granted by the Minneapolis 
Park Board. 

The facilities include a dressing room, shower space, 
all-steel platform ring (canvas, padding, and ring ropes 
are taken down each night to avoid weather damage), 
four heavy bags, four light bags with bag platforms, an 
exercise platform, eight helmets. 

The program commences in the middle of June and 
terminates in the last week of July. Notices are sent to 
all of the playgrounds in the city for posting. 

Program Organization 

Each coach is assigned to a district and enrolls boys from 
his district. Coaches contact Hi Y's, churches and other 
youth agencies in persuading boys to participate. Promo- 
tion assistance is given by the newspaper. 

Registration Cards 

Each boy fills out a registration card giving address, 
telephone number, and date of birth. This card must be 
signed by the parent with a statement of previous medical 
history to insure a safeguard of the youngsters' physical 




Minneapolis Star Summer Boxing Program 

JfegUtxation Card 

Registration Card 

Training Hours 

Training hours were originally between the hours of 
4:30 P M and 7:30 p M. In 1951 the hours were changed to 
6:00 P M to 8:00 p M to allow more parents the opportunity 
to observe the program in operation. 

Cost of Instruction 
Instructors are paid $1.50 per hour. 

Medical Exams 

All boys taking part in the program must have a com- 
plete medical examination, which is recorded on the back 
of the registration card. 

Implementation of the Program 

Coaches' Clinic Because the instruction program re- 
ceives close scrutiny from the opponents of boxing, it is 
essential that the best methods of teaching boxing be used 
by the instructors. Therefore, a special clinic for instruc- 
tors is held. Boxing rules, scoring, judging, and the teach- 
ing of fundamentals to large groups are stressed. 



Instruction Program 

The chief emphasis of the summer program is on in- 
struction and consists of stressing the basic fundamentals 
of boxing. 

Junior Golden Glove Tournament 

In order to stimulate interest in youngsters with recog- 
nized ability a Junior Golden Glove tournament is held 
as a climax to the summer activity. 

Rules and Regulations 

Boxers and instructors furnish their own personal gear 
— trunks, supporters, socks, shoes, mouthpieces, and 

Under no circumstances are professional boxers or 
trainers allowed use of facilities. 

Supervisor opens locker room, sets up ring, checks out 
gear, checks in gear, keeps coaches on schedule, checks 
attendance of boxing classes, and generally keeps program 
running smoothly. Each coach is responsible for the activi- 
ties of his group while at the training center, i.e., dressing 
rooms, workouts, showers. Coaches work on schedule. On 
reporting to center they check in with the supervisor. 

Class Procedure 

Good instruction and supervision are the prime requi- 
sites for the success of any program. Facilities and equip- 
ment are important only in relation to the guidance pres- 
ent. Success is in proportion to the caliber of guidance. 



What then, if adequate guidance and facilities are avail- 
able, is the best approach to the successful program? The 
answer appears to be "Controlled Boxing." 

The Minneapolis Star Summer Boxing Camp 
At Logan Park 

KEY: A. Ten lessons or more B. Registration number 

C. Waiver Card D. Tournament entries 

E. Number at sessions P. Medical examination 

Attendance Chart 

Controlled boxing is the practicing of offensive and de- 
fensive skills to form a pattern of reflex when in actual 



combat boxing. Controlled boxing means working dili- 
gently on each phase of boxing. Footwork, stance, and 
position of the hands and body are the basic elements. 

Delly Attendance Record 

Dally Attendance -- Date ______ 

New Candidates Ref. 

Registration No. Name Address No. 

Daily Attendance Record 

The various offensive blows come next, followed by the 
various target drills to perfect the delivery. That is, the 



opponent holds the open hand or glove in various positions 
to receive the blow. 

The next step is the developing of the defensive skills. 
This can also be accomplished in mass participation. 
Controlled boxing comes into play at this point. Boxer A 
in acquiring the use of the left jab soon works with Boxer 
B who drills on the various defensive parries and blocks. 
Only after constant drill can this technique be made a 
conditioned reflex. The offensive and defensive maneuver- 
ing can be applied to every situation in controlled boxing. 
The interest for those desiring perfection can be main- 
tained throughout each drill without discouraging results. 
For the best results at the start of each defensive maneuver 
the offensive blow should be delivered on a three count 
and command, i.e., Command: "Left jab, ready strike 
1, 2, 3." On each count a gradual advance of the left hand 
is made whereby the defensive boxer conditions his reflex 
to deflect the blow properly. 

The football coach works in a similar way in giving 
his squad a new play. It is not run at top speed the first 
time. The team walks through the play. The same pro- 
cedure is followed in controlled boxing. Gradually the 
count can be reduced to a two count then to the command: 
"Boxer A ready — jab," mixing it up by saying, "Boxer B 
ready jab," etc. Each combination of blows can be devel- 
oped offensively and defensively in this manner. 

Lesson Plan 

This starts with muster. Each boy when registering is 
given a number, and answers by giving his number each 
time to expedite the roll call. 




1. Limbering up exercises are given first. 

2. Review period includes work of previous lesson. 

3. New technique — also includes work technique 
of hitting the bag, skipping rope, etc. 


Recommended breakdown of group: 

1. Age groups 

2. New members of class in one group 

3. Classes A, B, C as to ability 

So that all will know assignments upon the 
command from the instructor. Two lines 
should be formed according to the above 
breakdown. One line becomes A's, the other 
B's. In this manner the boys in each group 
respond more quickly to the change of 

Procedure for Handling Large Groups with Limited Facilities 

We have found that the most effective method is to 
divide the boys into groups of 16 after the mass drill is 
completed each day as follows: 

Group No. 1 
Boxing — 16 boys: Eight 
boys in the ring at 
same time, two in each 
comer participating in 
controlled boxing; 
eight boys standing by 
outside the ring rest- 
ing and awaiting their 
turn in the ring. See 
Illustration No. 101. 

Group No. 2 
Punching bags — 16 
boys: Eight boys hit- 
ting the bags: 4 on 
the light bag, 4 on the 
heavy bag, 8 boys 
standing by resting 
and ready to take 
their turn. 

Group No. 3 
Skipping rope — 16 
boys: 8 boys skipping, 
8 boys standing by. 

Group No. 4 
Calisthenics — 16 boys: 
16 participating. 

Group No. 5 
Special Instruction — 16 
boys: 16 participating 
without gloves on a 
form of the day's 
technique, etc. 



One instructor is assigned to each group. However, 
after the boys become familiar with the plan one super- 
visor can handle the entire group. 

Each group works three one-minute rounds and rests on 
alternate rounds. On a whistle by the supervisor the 
groups rotate to the next activity. At the end of the drill 
the entire group takes a short jog around the park. Six- 
teen is an arbitrary figure — depending on the amount of 
equipment on hand, i.e., if only two light bag stands and 
two heavy bags are used then the best procedure would be 
groups of eight boys — four boys hitting the bags, four boys 
standing by, etc. The thought is to set up varied group 
activities to keep every youngster busy; as the active group 
completes its one-minute session the group resting takes 

Program Finance 

All financial assistance is provided by the Minneapolis 
Star and the Minneapolis Tribune due to the fact that the 
Minneapolis program is a newspaper promotion. The 
annual Upper Midwest Golden Glove Tournament is the 
source of revenue for all expenses. The expenditure of 
funds is under the control of the Better Sports Committee, 
which is composed of leading Minneapolis business men. 
It establishes program policy and controls the expenditure 
of monies. 

In addition to supporting the junior program the fund 
operates the senior Golden Glove program. The senior 
program has six Golden Glove centers operating in the 
various settlement houses in the Minneapolis area. The